AP NEWS

United Way investments made with community in mind

May 2, 2019

United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County’s volunteer board is committed to maximizing the amount of money invested in programs that help children, students, individuals and families in our region lead their best possible lives.

I’m writing to clarify, and in some cases correct, the information in a recent letter to the editor (“Too much overhead,” Your Turn, Thursday) and detail how United Way invests the $46 million raised during our 2018 annual campaign. I also want to share that our most recent financial statement reflects fundraising and administrative expenses for our organization to be at 9.7 percent — one of the most efficient United Ways in the country and the lowest of Texas United Ways.

Our recent investment notifications totaling $22 million relate to the amount of money United Way’s community volunteers were able to invest through our rigorous new request for proposal process. Beyond the $22 million, and its relation to the $46 million raised during the campaign, it is important to note that an additional $17 million-plus is invested in other nonprofit organizations (restricted gifts) and direct services such as the United Way 2-1-1 Help Line and Mission United, which provides information and resources to military members, veterans and their families.

These dollars are also impacting lives in our community. This is money that is directed (designated) to many other nonprofits and services as determined by the wishes of our donors to the annual campaign. In addition, a portion of pledges to the annual campaign are unpaid because of changing circumstances with the donor, such as job loss and job change, where pledges aren’t able to be collected.

We value every dollar donated to us and appreciate the strong leadership of our committed volunteers who annually review the programs in which we invest for impact and alignment toward addressing our community’s most complex issues. As we shift our investment focus, measurable goals have been set to ensure that every gift to us is optimized, that our expenses are low and that people’s lives will be improved.

To review the most recent consolidated financial statements for United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, please visit http://tiny.cc/uwsa.

Chris Martin is president and CEO of United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.